12/29/2016

Interview with Corners Of Sanctuary (2016)

We started the year 2016 with a article about a video of the New Wave of Traditional American Heavy Metal band Corners Of Sanctuary. By that time they released a face expressive video for the track "Left Scarred" of the album "Metal Machine". In the last 12 months the band released more videos as well as a best of record and toured extensively. We shared many of that stuff here on the blog but who's standing behind the band anyway? What's their motivation to push on with so enormous power? Read about it in our little interview with guitarist Mick Michaels.

How did the band come together?
Mick Michaels: Corners of Sanctuary formed in 2011 after a brief reunion project with the 80’s band Seeker that took place in 2010. Several of us were involved in that project.  During that time we talked about working on material that reflected more of our music roots. Out of that Corners of Sanctuary was born.

A shot of the band Corners Of Sanctuary taken in fall 2016, (c) by Corners Of Sanctuary

Which sources do you use as inspiration for writing new songs?
MM: Everything seems to be an inspiration: family, friends, music, nature, history… It really is an infinite source of material to draw from. We just need to be open and aware that it exists. When we draw and write from experiences and the like, we find that the music has more of an honest quality to it – meaning we’re not trying to be or do something we are not. Songs always seem to flow better that way and I feel it is evident to the listener.

Do you feel that writing and performing music helps you to push on further with your own personal lives?
MM: Absolutely.  For me, music is an extension of myself. It is an opportunity for me to explore thoughts and ideas, so be creative, as well as a way for me to explore my own existence. I find great peace in writing.  I often learn something new about myself or am reminded of something I forgot.

Social media surely plays a big role in the communication between a band and their fans. Do you feel that fans contact with you more or less personally at gigs these days?
MM: There is no denying that social media has opened many doors to the band/fan relationship. If embraced properly and respectfully it can have great benefits. So it is not at all uncommon for us to meet fans at shows whose initial contact or introduction to us was through a social media channel. Communication today is worldwide and limitless – there is so much opportunity to meet new people.

Do you still prefer releasing music on traditional media like LPs, CDs and the like or do you feel the same satisfaction when putting out music digitally?
MM: We are definitely old school in that we enjoy releasing material that can be held and looked at by the listeners.  The album’s artwork and design along with all the liner notes, the music itself and its song order are all part of the total package.  Even the smell has an effect. There is something very special there.  However, we do understand the need and the demand to have material released digitally whether as an option to the album or as the only choice.  It is important that artists stay with the times and offer the fans diversity without losing integrity.

Have you ever experimented with other styles over the years and thought about changing?
MM: I think as a song writer, experimenting with other forms and genres of music is natural and very enlightening.  Trying different things gives us new perspectives… it can be very beneficial in the long run.  Over the years I have written a handful of rock, acoustic and country-esque songs as well as some instrumental and experimental type compositions that were used in some independent films a few years back. I also worked as a producer on a Rap EP back in 2008. But Metal has always been my primary focus.

The logo of the band Corners Of Sanctuary, (c) by Corners Of Sancturay, used with kind permission

Did you come along points where you thought about leaving it all behind? If you reached that point: how did you keep the motivation up to move on?
MM: Who hasn’t?   Being a musician is a non-stop roller coaster ride. Every day I ask myself “Are you sure you want to do this?”  And every day the answer is yes!  I guess when the day comes when yes is not the answer it will be time to do something different… maybe a circus clown!

What was the funniest story that came along your way when you performed live? Or did things happen that you would have never thought of to occur (not only at gigs but maybe anywhere else as well)?
MM: There are things happening all the time – big and small. Funny could be a relative term depending on the situation. Frankie has taken a few trips, slips and falls during some shows. But to tell you the truth we never really notice until after when he says something.  We are so used to him jumping around during the set, that even we think it is part of the show.

Recently, though, while we were on tour in the Midwest, we were traveling from Ohio to Chicago going through Indianapolis.  We had all but sold out of T-shirts at the previous night’s show and we still had a handful of dates to go.  So, while driving, James and I were on the phone trying to find someone who would do a rush order of shirt within 24 hours.  We were trying our best to have it done locally to our next show to make it easier.  During this a state trooper pulls alongside us and begins to give us the once over.  Within seconds the lights go on and he is pulling us over.  At this point James is still on the phone and placing an order for T-shirts.  The officer comes up to the passenger side window, where James is sitting, James rolls down the window and says to the officer “Sorry officer I am trying to order some band T-shirts for the next show.”  The officer looks at him and then me and asks for my “driver’s license and registration,” which I provide.  James is still talking on the phone.  The officer asks me to “step out of the car.”  I step out onto a massively busy Indianapolis highway and walk behind the truck and trailer to meet the officer who proceeds to ask me if I am “armed or carrying any knives or weapons of any kind?”  I said “no.” He said “are you sure?” I said “yes.”  He asks to pat me down and I comply.  He then tells me to get into the patrol car at which point “Deliverance” starts playing in my head.  I ask if there is a problem and he say no and tells me to get into the vehicle. I get into the car to find a giant K9 Sheppard sitting in the back seat which is now sniffing me down and breathing heavily over my shoulder. At this point I figured I wouldn’t be making it to tonight’s gig. All the while the rest of the band is casually sitting in the truck and James still on the phone placing a T-shirt order.  After the in-vehicle interrogation the officer tells me there is not an issue but warned me about driving too close to other vehicles.  He then asked me “who’s the guy on the cell phone?” I went on to explain he was our bass player and business manager. It turned out he was not a fan of Heavy Metal, unfortunately. But I was sent on my merry way and the high point of the story is, the T-shirts were ordered and arrived the next morning at our hotel!

Not sure how funny that was – but I will say it was not at all funny while it was happening. 

Thanks for taking the time to talk with me and sharing with your readers a little bit about Corners of Sanctuary. COSnROLL! \m/\m/

Remember to download your free copy of the track "That feeling we know" until January 1st 2017 from the band's homepage and to tune in to the band's Facebook page to keep up to date about the recording process of the new album and upcoming tourdates.

12/24/2016

Santa Claus comes along with free 40 track compilation

Finally Santa Claus knocks on your door! It's time for a little present to all of my readers for following the Underdogs so constantly. Thanks to Asher Media Relations we can hand a great free download compilation to all of you.

The cover of Asher Media's 2016 holiday season free download sampler, (c) by Asher Media Relations, used with kind permission

It holds a mixture of 40 great new and upcoming bands of various styles of the heavy genre that are all well worth to be checked out. Enjoy and have happy holidays! You can pick up your free package at Bandcamp.

About Asher Media Relations:

For nearly a decade, Montreal, QC based PR firm Asher Media Relations & staff have followed one rule and one rule only, that is getting artists the media attention that they deserve. Developing pr campaigns for image awareness and media support, AMR showcases & represents talented artists to all media outlets ranging from Print, Radio, Online & Television across Canada to around the world.

For more info, please visit the following links:

Website: www.AsherMediaRelations.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AsherMedia
Twitter: @AsherMedia

12/21/2016

CD Review: Third Voice - A Day Like Today (Progmetal/2016)

Classic prog rock for fans of the genre. The tunes are kept in a sound format like in the early 90s.

Introduction

Prog rock can be a satisfying music if you can relate to the music and the way the songs are written. I had a period in my life when Dream Theater dominated my CD player and few other bands had the chance to be heard at that time. Like ever so often this time passed me by. But the thougts of back in the day are still there so it was a pleasure when this Third Voice album arrived at my inbox.

The cover of the "A Day Like Today" album by Third Voice, (c) by Third Voice, used with kind permission

Summary

This band surely doesn't have much in common with today's trends soundwise and songwriting like.The album feels like a expedition back to the feel of times long ago. This starts already when you listen to the music. It's kept in a softer production than today's majority of output. That means the guitars are much less rough, synths shine through and the drums are kept in a natural sound without all the soundstyling that is possible these days. The vocals follow the concept and keep it in a similar form, his voice is very present and constant yet there are highs and lows in it.

The songwriting also comes out as a one piece record. All the songs can easily be imagined to be written in one period of time with a certain focus. It feels like a puzzle - all tiles fit to each other to form one big picture. Most of the time the album has a midtempo rhythm with it, so it's enjoyable at a longer time. Few pieces come along faster or slower, it's all very one style.

Preview Track / Purchase-Link

Here's one song example to add some music to the words.

If you like progressive tunes in the way described above the album will give you a good time. Most fans of Fates Warning should find this something to share their time with.

You can purchase the tracks over at the homepage of the band (US only) or buy a copy at CDBaby.

Contact data
 
You can contact the band through their homepage.

12/17/2016

Rock out with Santa Claus on free Incendia Music Compilation

So Santa Claus comes early this year and since you all out there were so kind to follow my blog so regulary and support me with music and information, here's a early present I can hand to you thanks to the nice people of Incendia Music Management and PR company.

This FREE sampler holds 15 bands that Incendia was working with over the last year, and bands they're excited to be working with in early 2017.

Examples include Agent, Brutai, Defences, Elbrano, Empire, Voyager and more....

The cover of the Incendia Music Christmas Compilation '16, (c) by Incendia Music

Some of those bands have been featured here on the blog as well but it should be mentioned that the compilation also includes tracks of bands that have not been mentioned yet.

I think of The Dreamer Within for example who created a exciting mixture of metalcore with synth-elements in their sounds. Very powerfull and unique music. There are The New Device up for listening, a hard rock act reminding of classic rock in the style of the 90s. Music that keeps you going through the day. In short this sampler features great music for all that would like to discover new music. You can check it out in the stream below or go straight on over to Bandcamp to download your copy.

If you'd like to get in touch with Incendia Music Management check out their homepage or see their Facebook account.

12/14/2016

Realms Of Odoric share preview track on upcoming music & artbook collaboration

It has been a great experience for me to leave musical boundaries behind. Ever since I opened up my mind about other musical styles I found out that there's such a huge and wonderfull world outside of metal to explore. I can only encourage everyone out there to listen to things not-metal every here and there. It will expand your joy for music.

The new release of Realms Of Odoric draws near. It can be described as sort of musical journey to a land far away. It's not metal but music that is kept in a darker orchestral style. Musician and composer Arkadius Antonik (SuidAkra) as well as artist and illustrator Kris Verwimp (Marduk, Manegarm, Thyrfing) have added a further chapter of the fantasy epic with the unique combination of music and illustration.

The cover of the album "Second Age" from Realms Of Odoric, (c) by Realms Of Odoric, used with kind permission

The album "Second age" will be available in several formats. One of them will include a 80-page book in A4 format which features awsome illustrations of Kris Verwimp. It tells the story of the second age of Odoric in epic paintings - it's like having a artbook to accompany the musical experience with a optical component. With "The Last Embrace" you can check out one track in advance for yourselves along with the performance of the orchestra.

The song was recorded and produced in Budapest on 25th October together with the Budapest Film Orchestra. For the first time in the history of the project an album with guest musicians from around the world and two orchestras was implemented.

The album "Second Age" contains 18 compositions with a playing time of 44 minutes and will be released this week.
The album is not available in the regular stores, but only in the MDD shop in different editions. Make sure to follow this project further via Facebook.

12/09/2016

Live Review: Purple Rhino - Rock am Pferdemarkt Lingen 16.09.2016

Not all the young bands are into modern styles of the hard genre - this one in fact goes more back to the days of classic Hard Rock and Blues Rock of the 70s.

Introduction

I've heard of Purple Rhino several times before I saw them first live. The local newspaper here had some show announcements of the band in their news section and I knew it was one of the bands that could be worth it. But in fact it never happened due to several circumstances that it took until this years Open Air season that I could check them out.

Purple Rhino live at Rock am Pferdemarkt Lingen 2016, (c) by Jörg Everding Fotografie

Summary

To make things a bit more exciting I didn't look up the band on the internet before. I knew of several other live shows that it was more fun if you know nothing about them beforehand and have all the surprise at the gig. I didn't regret my decision since they put on a great set. This band reminds me of classic Rock and Metal bands in the style of Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple.

Especially the first named influence shown through many times at their set at Rock am Pferdemarkt. Guitar player Chris put's on a good signature on the band's sound while the rhythm section keeps it more in a basic tonality and style staying mostly in the background. It should be mentioned that vocalist / bassist Felix also adds a lot to the music and gives it a fresh drive everytime things seem to get a bit in far too deep with instrumental solos. They had this one slow song on their set whose name I don't know of (that's the downside of not listening to a band's music in advance of a show :-). It had a distressing and calming effect on me while I had some sort of thrill all the while - thank you for this special moment!

Purple Rhino live at Rock am Pferdemarkt Lingen 2016, (c)  by Jörg Everding Fotografie

Purple Rhino offer a good mixture of entertaining rock and metal music that goes straight into the heart of the listener combined with sections that will satisfy the fans that love the technical aspects, precision and timing of progressive music. The signature move toward the end when vocalist Felix and guitar player Chris got down on their knees to drive towards each other rounded out a impressive performance which is a good reason for me to keep a eye upon the further band's activities. As for me Purple Rhino were by far the best band on this year's edition of Rock am Pferdemarkt. Here is their current official video to give you a idea of the band's sound and performance.



Contact Data

Make sure to see the band's Facebook page to stay in touch or head on to the webshop where you can purchase their record for a fair price that could make a nice gift for christmas to rock and metal fans. They are regulary playing shows so a look at the homepage is also a good idea. Here are the next dates:

23.12.2016 - Gaststätte Stock, Hagen - Germany
29.12.2016 - Lagerhalle, Osnabrück - Germany
21.01.2017 - Truck Stop, Wildeshausen - Germany
02.03.2017 - Fernsehkonzert Kanal 21, Bielefeld - Germany

12/05/2016

Jupiter Hollow reveal tourdates and send us Deep in Space

The release of the debut EP of the progressive duo Jupiter Hollow is drawing near. And as much as you (hopefully) are excited about the release as much I am looking forward to hear the final product.

As of today I can at least share one more video of the EP with you. It reveals one more track and shows how much diversity and feeling the two guys are able to transport with thir music to the listener. This time around it comes more to the rough and cutting side of the band but don't worry: there is still enough space for the melodies and big riffs to shine through the harder parts of the sound. Besides that it is also a perfect demonstration of how good the guys are when it comes to playing shows.

Shows is a good word: the band was able to confirm more dates in the meantime. Just check the column underneath the video to read all the details about the new tour dates.


Show Dates:
December 9 - Barrie, ON - Foxx Lounge
December 10 - Montreal, QC - Club Lambi
January 14 - Toronto, ON - Smiling Buddha (CD Release Show) - info

In the meantime pick up a free download of their track 'Ascending' available at http://www.grantmackenzie.ca/jupiterhollow

The prog duo Jupiter Hollow,
L-R- Grant MacKenzie (guitar, bass, synth), Kenny Parry (vocals, drums, synth/keys). Photo by Sandra Beatty 

The EP 'Odyssey' will drop on January 13th. The concept record will feature 5 tracks to introduce their ambient experimental progressive songwriting plus will act as a prelude to their planned full length 'AHDOMN'. Their sound is referred to as spacey, experimental and refreshing, reminding listeners of bands like Tool, Pink Floyd, A Perfect Circle, Tesseract, The Contortionists and Rush.

For more info make sure to see the band's homepage.

12/01/2016

SpiteFuel release slightly dark-toned single

Sometimes snippets circulate early letting you guess about the quality of a upcoming release. SpiteFuel did the same for the "Sleeping with wolves" release and combined it with a show announcement at the Live Factory in Adelsheim, Germany that will take place on the upcoming weekend (03. December 2016).

The cool thing is that the trailer only gave few cuts out to the listener so not much was given out too soon. Anyway I liked it this way and the fact that the band not only invited to their upcoming performance but also mentioned the other bands on the billing, too. Such a treat is not to be found often these days.

Anyway right now we're given the full title track of the "Sleeping with wolves" single. I can only recommend to listen to this one, it's a burner for all those loving melodic but also heavy and slightly dark metal music. It's great to hear the band kept the focus on developing a unique style with a positive basic tone but not forgetting the real world and working parts of how it's like to live on today's planet earth in with the sound. Just listen to the heavier and slower riffing in the verses and the massive variations on the vocals to find out what I'm talking about.


The 3 track Single contains with the title track for the first time a taste for their new album, which will be titled "Second To None" and will be released in spring.

As a bonus, this 3-song single contains a bombastic, orchestral soundtrack version of the titletrack, arranged exclusively by Arkadius Antonik (SuidAkra, Realms Of Odoric), as well a re-recording of "Never Surrender“.

The cover of the "Sleeping with wolves" single. Cover artwork by Fabian Schwarz with additional work by Travis Smith, (c) by SpiteFuel, used with kind permission

The single is available as a fine tradtional packed Compact Disc in the MDD mailorder and at the liveshows of the band. In addition you can get it as download with some bonus content (Cover, booklet and CD tray graphics as well as the "Never surrender" videoclip in MP4 format) for only 2 Euro on the Bandcamp page of SpiteFuel.to shorten the waiting time on the album . No matter which format you prefer, tracks 2 and 3 are always single exclusive songs.

Maybe this is also a nice idea as a christmas or St. Nicholas gift? Remember that Bandcamp offers the gift option directly at each product page - it's easy to find directly underneath the "Buy now" button.

Make sure to check SpiteFuels Facebook page to keep track of upcoming shows and the next steps 'till the album release in spring 2017.

11/29/2016

Corners of Sanctuary shares an all new, original and free Holiday single

So it's this time of the year again when the daylight fades away so soon that the days seem to be so short as never before. But it's also the period of the year when the light of candles shines brighter than ever.

Corners of Sanctuary keep up their fine tradition of handing a free gift out to metal fans worldwide in this special time. This year we are gifted with a all new, original Holiday single entitled “That Feeling We Know". The track is being made available as a FREE download exclusively on the band’s website.

Mick Michaels has checked in with the following comment about the single release:

“We love this time of year… and what better way to express that sentiment than through music,” said Mick Michaels, COS founder and guitarist.

Over the past several years, the band has released a number of Holiday tracks to celebrate the season.
“I don’t know if we will do it every year, but it felt like the thing to do this year. Besides, we always have a great time doing it… so that counts for something,” added Michaels.

Corners Of Sanctuary sends happy holiday season greeting your way, (c) by Corners Of Sanctuary, used with kind permission

Corners of Sanctuary finish up the year with their remaining shows (see schedule below) and will be returning to the studio to continue work on their new album, “The Galloping Hordes,” set to release sometime in 2017.

December 2nd The Empire Concert Club w/Axemaster - Akron, OH
December 3rd Bobby’s Place w/Storms Within - Erie, PA
December 9th Irish Wolf Pub w/Beyond Fallen - Scranton, PA

Official Website: www.cornersofsanctuary.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CornersofSanctuary
Support the band: www.cornersofsanctuary.com/coscrowdfunding.html

11/25/2016

Living Dead Girl creates a world of virtual simulation

I'm always impressed to see how creative people are that write and record music. What I'm talking about is the fact of how simple the elements are that musicians use. If you take these and look at them separately they look as if they aren't much or could be enough to work out something bigger with them.

It's like this with this video of the dark electronica duo Living Dead Girl. The way the song starts out seems to be just a little song fragement. But the duo works out the track further with every minute throughout the whole song duration so in the end it grows and vibrates like a big song. It's a outstanding track. The same goes for the video. The electronica duo uses simple visuals but the way they combine and cut them make this moving picture something special.

You can pick up "Simulation" as a single download or along with some more tracks on the "Autumn" EP for a small price from the Bandcamp page of Living Dead Girl.

Jessica English (vocalist of Living Dead Girl) explains the meaning behind the song in these word: "It imagines a world where virtual stimulation strips us of personal interaction and expression, leaving us without a sense of realism or self. The song explores the search for humanity amongst the artificial. After a long search for the right director to work with, we went with fashion photographer and videographer Vasilisa Forbes, who helped us bring our imaginings to life. The video juxtaposes a clinical, plain setting with a bright, vibrant, simulated world. The two begin to blur as the video progresses, asking us to question which one is more real.”

A scene of the video of Simulation, (c) by Living Dead Girl, used with kind permission

Also make sure to follow the duo via Facebook, Instagram or add them on Spotify.

11/22/2016

Onydia shares a glimpse of hope with upcoming single

I like it when the lyrics that come with the music transport something. This part of the song can be a message, a thought, a opionion, a statement or anything else you can imagine. I've often found myselves checking the lyrics out and many times they did hold something worth reading and thinking about. So I can only motivate everyone to do the same thing and have a closer look on what the song wants to tell you.

This track of the band Onydia also has this special idea behind it of transporting something to the listener.
The Main theme of the track is the rebirth of hope when everything seems to be over as the band points out in their own words:

"Life is a complicated path which often makes us feel lonely and abandoned.

In these moments, confidence in ourselves and in our abilities make us feel alive, restoring our energy and letting us create pure art. Creation is a supernatural entity which discloses itself.

The artist cannot help but lends his soul and his voice to this entity, which is stronger and bigger than him. "Dyaphany " is an explosion of creative strength which spreads energy and positivity. "

You can feel that these words come from the heart. Here is a little glimpse on how the single will sound like. If you like progressive metal with the deepth and intensity of the female voice - this is for you. Check out the snippet on the website of the band's record company Revalve Records.
The full single is going to see the light of day on Friday 09.12.2016.

Onydia is the new project born from the hands of the ex Elarmir musicians, Eleonora Buono (Ex Elarmir), Daniele Amador (Ex Elarmir, Ade), Luca Zamberti (Ex Elarmir), After sharing the stage with bands like Arch Enemy, Epica, Sirenia and Amorphis the band continued their way with a new chapter in form of a single and album. 

The Onydia name was created from two greek words, oneiro(dream) and diafanìs (transparent),”the display of a surreal dream in the real world, a mystical dream, our emoctions when creating art”
The band signed a record deal with Revalve Records for the release of the new single in autumn 2016 and the debut album that will be released in the first months of 2017. The album will feature some special guests.

Make use of Facebook to stay in touch with the band for all the further updates.

11/17/2016

CD Review: Dö - Tuho (Dark Stoner Doom Metal/2016)

This album has a calming and positive effect on me. It helps you to distress from things and besides that comes with much variations in the songs.

Introduction

Dö is a dark stoner doom trio from Helsinki, Finland. The origins of the band go all the way back to 2007, but the current style has been developed only for a few years. The men behind the wall of sound are Deaf Hank (Bass & Vox), Big Dog (Guitar & Vox) and Joe E. Deliverance (Drums & Vox - 'E' stands for 'Epic')

The band's music is a genuine combination of stoner, doom, sludge with death/black metal twists here and there.  "Tuho" has been released in April 2016 and is the second release of the trio.

The cover of Dö's album "Tuho", Cover Art by Big Dog, (c) by Big Dog, used with kind permission

Summary

The record that comes under the title of "Tuho" (meaning Devastation) has a dark basic tonality no question. The vocals are black and doomy but the music has a constant movement and note inside of it. It's this continuous song structure that makes me feel positive about it. It's like that the songs go slowly but they always move along. They may never take big steps but you feel all along that they keep the direction. It's this permanent movement that makes me feel so good about it.

The first two tracks are typical for this style. The production is heavy and strong but there's also much clearness in the sound. The drums for example shine through fine and clear something that cannot be found too often in these musical style. Everblast II (The Aftermath) is a bit faster, yet it's still midtempo, something much welcome to me in times where music often tends to be played all just too fast.

Ex Oblivione is a surprise It's a slow track with a great melody inside and feels as if it has been written in a jamming session. But beware: it's a great song that unfolds slowly just to blast you away towards the end. One of the best tracks I've heard in a long time!

Kylmä is a bit mixed to me. A rough and edgy track but I somehow dislike it. I doesn't feel so harmonic through it's various parts in it so I don't like it as much as the other numbers on the record.

The album closes out with the shortest and the longest songs of the whole release. The first one Hail The Fire comes as a short clear guitar intermission - a welcome pause after the rough music in the track before. Forsaken Be Thy Name reminds me the most of the longtracks that Black Sabbath did release back in their early days. A mighty riffer with a jammed melodic and clear intermission part. You nearly don't notice when it's over that it was about twelve mintes long. A great way to round out a fine release.

Album stream

The full record can be heard from the Bandcamp widget below.



Purchase-Link

The album is available as a paid download on Bandcamp. If you decide to give a few bucks more you'll have the chance to get your hands on one of the CD-R copies. The price includes worlwide shipping so it could be a nice addition to your stoner/doom collection. It's well worth the money since I guess a lot of the fans of the mentioned genres will pick the album up often to have another listen and relax from the daily stress.

Contact Data

Be sure to keep in touch with Dö using Facebook or Twitter, maybe you'd also like to add them to your watch list on Spotify. They are looking for a label to release the album on vinyl so if there's someone interested out there - don't hesitate to contact them!

11/15/2016

Hail Sagan take a stand against bullying and abuse

Bullying is a crime and not a normal way of treating others! It is a shame that this society doesn't seem to care about this important subject and most of all it is hard for victims to defend themselves or to protect against such attacks. That's the way I look at things and I'm glad there seem to be more people in the world of music who think that this topic needs to be expressed and talked about.

Female fronted Los Angeles hard Rock band Hail Sagan has taken a stand and brings this important matter up to the front in their video for the song "Dark Cloud". 

In a statement the band has clarified what can be seen in the video. Amery says "It's been a great experience being able to broach the subject of bullying and abuse with the lyrics of this song. We took it one step further and created a video with director Matthew Crum and DP Kenny Keeler that visually enhanced the sensitive subject matter.  

We chose to mask the members of the band in an effort to show the world that anyone can be a part of this, you never know who will be under there, maybe even a fan or someone who needs music to save them." 


At the moment you still have the chance to order the first EP that includes the song "Dark Cloud" directly from the band via Pledgemusic. If you order, you'll receive one of the limited edition copies on CD along with a signed print and a download of the songs. There's a second option which offers a signed copy of the record as well.

Make sure to follow the band via Facebook ,Twitter or Instagram so you won't miss out on all the further band activities.

11/11/2016

CD Review: Brutai - Born (Modern Metal/2016)

Seldomely has a band impressed me the way Brutai did with their first album. Usually the first previews of many records sound good but the finished album later on may not be as fullfilling as you hoped for.

Introduction
Happily that's not the same with "Born". Having heard the first track "Deep" I was thrilled for more to come. Seeing that the band was very busy with playing gigs wherever they had the opportunity and other stuff they had to work around like a writing blockade I thought that a EP would wait around the corner. But what we have here is a full album and that's even more impressive if you keep in mind that all of this happened in a time of under one year!

The cover of Brutai's first full length "Born", (c) by Brutai, used with kind permission

Summary
So what's inside of the package? First of all it's a modern metal record but one with a special note. While most of the songs have a rough edge to the riffs and the pushing, uncompromising rhythm it's the vocal's core that always centers the music back to some melodic and softer tonality. It's great to hear that along with some catchy melodies the record always remains one you love to listen to. Most of all the sound remains natural and intact not letting the all too modern production ruin the product in the end. You never have the impression that it's overpolished or impossible to play this but instead always can imagine that this is handcrafted music of real humans.

The first three tracks are a good intro in a row. The album slowly takes you into the world of Brutai. With every step you sink in further. While "Relapse" is a rhythm-oriented opener to the album, "Deep" adds the progressive elements just to finally push you to the riffing monster "Of Ashes".

The absolute peak of the record is reached with the songs starting with "Lucidity" up to "Dear Emily" - all the tracks grow further from one song to each other. They're all heavy and will give you a great feeling through the whole duration. I simply had to headbang to these tunes.

The middle sees us taking a breath with the modern half ballad "Valediction", some pretty complex piece of music yet is has a infectious melody spreading all along the track. Just when you thought it's over after the eight track "Over now" the band returns for two more songs.

"Visitors" has some great keyboard melody going through the whole track - it touches you and has been circulating in my mind for a long time. "The Border" is the heaviest track and a full surprise to the package. It's a long pushing heavy crusher that never seems to end but it gives you this special feeling to it that the band has put out something great with the debut "Born" and that you definitely need to see them live.

Purchase Link
Make sure to pick your copy early. All CD and T-shirt bundles are £20 for a limited time only... Prices will increase after 'Born' is released on November 25th. You can place your pre-order here.

Album stream
I've picked the track "Of Ashes" as a quick check- in song for you. Besides the great music it comes with a nice animated album cover. If you'd like to listen to the full album, just check out the Facebook page for the Heavy Metal Underdogs Blog - at this direct link you can hear the whole album that the band has uploaded to YouTube.


Contact data
Make sure to keep a eye on the band through Facebook and mark your calenders when the band hit's the road in January 2017 with The Devil You Know in the UK. For detailed tourdates check my post.

11/08/2016

Arcade Messiah previews new album III

Instrumental metal albums are a exciting sort of releases for me. Since they focus completly on the music they have to work differently to keep the interest of the listener. If you've ever experimented with sound snippets on your PC you surely know what I mean and how hard it is to fill just one minute with instrumental music that is something worth your time.

A new album of John Bassett's project Arcade Messiah is about to be unleashed this November. It's the third installment entiled "III" and we can finally catch some short snippets of the record in the player below. While listening to the music the video also reveals the artwork by Michael Kerbow. The pre-order phase starts November 10th 2016 on Bandcamp.

Make sure to follow the next steps of the project through Twitter or Facebook.

11/05/2016

Rik Emmett takes a cool train ride on "End Of The Line"

Yep, finally we made it through the whole long week. Time to calm down and distress with some heavy music. This one is the perfect fit I think.

It's a lyric video which let's you take a one way ticket ride while some cool heavy riffs and grooves can be heard. Those are sourced of the brand new Rik Emmett track that has just been revealed. The track features guest spots from Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and Dream Theater singer James LaBrie. Make sure to look the full video because the end is not what you may expect...

The logo of Rik Emmett & RESolution 9, (c) by Rik Emmett & RESolution 9, used with kind permission

What I love so much about it is that it comes with such a great and cool riff and the groove is just bringing you in the right mood. That's exactly what Emmett seems to have on his mind when he writes new music as he explains in his own words: "The context of this entire album for me was, ‘Wow, somebody tossed me a lifeline.’ I still want to make positive music and offer people something that’s motivating and inspiring — and I want to do it for myself too. I need music, and music can provide that lifeline for me.”

The track is part of the upcoming album "RES9", released worldwide in various formats - CD, limited red vinyl, and digital download - on November 11th via Mascot Label Group/Provogue Records. Make sure to stay up to date by having a look on the homepage of Rik Emmett or connect via social channels such as Twitter or Facebook.

11/01/2016

CD Review: God in a cone - Agrypnia (2016)

This album sounds as if it is dedicated to the open minded metalheads out there. It's half a metal album while the other half is focussed on electronic and atmospheric parts.

Introduction

God in a cone is the side project of Nick Marinos. You may know him best of his vocals for the gothic metal band Slitherum from Greece. This record however is a solo project effort and in many ways much different from what Nick produces with Slitherum.

The cover of the first God in a cone CD "Agrypnia", (c) by God in a cone, used with kind permission


Summary

Agrypnia is a album that comes around with a lot of melodies and harmonies that you can directly access. They often form a structure that is easy to follow and has a clear tonality and message. This means most of the material isn't that heavy. Nick Marinos mostly seems to have had atmosphere and groove more on his mind than to record brutal songs right here.

As I said before you need to be open minded to enjoy this one. Many people out there may be reminded of Paradise Lost's album "Host" when they listen to this record. I know those songs of the british icons was discussed many times by the people out there. I like it and it still rotates in my CD player from time to time.

The same may happen with the first God in a cone effort. Agrypnia is full of electronic effects. I know this may be something purists don't like at all. But if you open up to the melody and just focus on the beauty of the music you won't recognize this anymore. This album doesn't leave my ears each time I listen to it and that's a sign that this piece of music left something in me behind.

I can only recommend you to give it a try - but please don't expect the usual metal sound right here. If you like the songs of Sisters Of Mercy you may also find this album a pleasure. It also has partly something of Korn but only if you compare it to the slower material of Korn. Sit back, relax a bit and I think you will enjoy this, too.

Player

Some tracks are up on the YouTube channel of the project. As for this review I've decided to pick "Cold Feeder" as a preview track for you. It got me into the record and I think it's the best way to discover the music of God In A Cone.


Purchase-Link

If you would like to purchase the album on CD add Nick Marinos to your friendlist on Facebook. He has some of the silver discs left in store and you can buy them via Paypal directly from him.

Contact-Data

You can find more info on the project and get in touch with them via Facebook.

10/28/2016

MONSTER celebrates Halloween with livevideo single

This weekend there can be once again heard the call for trick or treat at the door. It's time for Halloween and many bands out there are doing gigs where they dress in proper clothes and play for the audience or are setting up some nice goodies for the fans.

The Halloween candlelight greets you!

The same thing may have been on the mind when MONSTER decided to do a recap of this years show at the Coast Rock Open Air and hand the output in form of a live video out to their fans out there. The cool thing is that they've picked the Track "Random Acts of Undead Empathy" as a song for the video single release.

That one has been amongst my favorites ever since the band dropped their first full length album "The Arrival" in 2014. As for me it's a perfect blend of the thrash classics of the 80s but in a completly "Take no prisoners" attitude. The songs shot out directly without too much solos and experiments all around. Plus there's the voice of Alex who keeps them in a dark and death-metal like style yet they are clear enough to be fully enjoyable and listenable. Then there is the fun factor. While it's hard music it never misses out to give you a good feeling in the end. That's what not many bands come around with. Just give their new video a spin and I think you'll quickly know what I mean.

MONSTER are offering their album as download completly free of charge on their Soundcloud account. Anyway I'd like to point you to there Facebook page where you can message them if you'd like to place a order for a copy on CD for only 5 Euro plus 2 more bucks for shipping and handling for residents in Germany or add 4 more Euro for worlwide shipping. You can also use their E-Mail to place your order more quickly and easy.

If you're living in Germany you may be happy to know that the band has two shows in coming. Here are the dates:

04. November 2016  J.V.A. Club, Ludwigsfelde
05. November 2016 Juz Klex, Greifswald

10/25/2016

Lyra's Legacy expand sound to a much wider range

Some time ago we had a review of Lyra's Legacy first output (the mini album with the same name as the band) up here for reading. Since then the band was in the studio and was closed liped about how they would move on soundwise.

Happily the silence has ended now and the band gives some insight into what's coming up with the new release in the form of a brand new music video. The moving picture is given the title "Prisoner" which will also be the name for the upcoming album which is scheduled for release in 2017.

The bandlogo of Lyra's Legacy, (c) by Lyra's Legacy, used with kind permission

The band has surprised me in a very positive way with this song. It represents a massive development the band has gone through in the recent time. The soundscape the band produced is much more powerfull and most of all tighter than on the first offering. This is sourced a lot of the rhythm section. But the overall guitars have strengthen in the pressure and the vocals also show more depth yet it all is wrapped in a warm sound package which prevents it from sounding just hard and cold.


The band has some shows coming in the next time. Make sure to see them to have a look on their live presence for yourselves. Here are the dates:

29. October 2016
Brothers of Metal BOM 2016
Langerwehe, Germany

12. November 2016
Eisenfest VI
JZ Schwelm, Germany

25. November 2016
Metal for Mercy on Stage
Witten, Germany

03. December 2016
Metal Journey
Falkenheim Lüdenscheid, Germany  

09. December 2016
KULT on Tour
Eckhaus Kettwig, Essen - Germany

Let's keep a further eye on this band using the world wide web site of the band or joing them on Twitter or Facebook to stay in touch.

10/21/2016

Brutai share Bloodstock 2016 memories along new track "Relapse"

The outdoor festival is over and out. But it's nice that we sometimes can collect some sweet memories of those times that we may recall later. Brutai have had a little look back recently when they looked through their live footage of their performance at the Bloodstock Open Air 2016. They decided to share it along with a reworked album version of the song "Relapse" which is taken of the forthcoming record entitled "Born". Read more about the upcoming release further down underneath the video.

As for me this is fine, outworked and well structured modern metal music. I like the ongoing constant vocals which change all the while during the track all along with the technical aspects. For example the bass guitar lines have much varitaions to offer and the keyboards come in slightly to create a atmosphere that adds to the overall topic of the track. The drums are a monster pushing the whole track. It's heavy but always in a way you still feel comfortable while listening.

The band have just signed to Transcend Music, and 'Born' will be out on 25th November 2016. You can preorder the record here.

A bandshot of Brutai, Photo Credit: Will Ireland Photography, www.willirelandphotography.co.uk

The band's album launch party will be in collaboration with Transcend Music's Christmas Party at The Borderline on 22nd November. You can buy tickets for the show right here or see more details about the event on Facebook.

Also make sure to stay up to date with Brutai on Facebook.

10/18/2016

SpiteFuel: in the studio! Album in spring, Single in December.

So we didn't had any news on the heavy rockers from SpiteFuel here on the site for some time. What's happening over there?

The band has played some gigs in the meantime and was busy preparing songs for the first album. They constantly keep adding gigs to their schedule but as of today we have a little more concrete news snippet for you.

SpiteFuel with a happy crowd in the background, Photo credit: Hobbit Hauser

SpiteFuel has entered the Gernhart Studios (where already Destruction, Elvenking and Perzonal War recorded their albums) in Troisdorf, Germany (that's near Cologne) these days, in order to record their new longplayer, which will be released on MDD Records next spring.

In order to shorten the waiting time, the band is already planning a single entitled "Sleeping With Wolves" in December, which will include the brand new song in various versions. Among other things, an orchestral implementation is currently underway, for which composer Arkadius Antonik (Realms Of Odoric, SuidAkra) is responsible.  

Sounds exciting to me. As for now here's a list of dates the band will play in the upcoming time here in germany. For updates and more info on these show always check back to the Facebook page of the band.

Btw: I just saw that the band is hosting a video diary on the same site so we can keep a close eye on the progress in the studio that way. :-)

2016
22. October - The Ranch Festival, Hechingen (with Brainstorm, Mystic Prophecy and many more!)
05. November - Bonfire Support, ROFA Bad Friedrichshall
30. December - Red River Party with Wild Rider, Heilbronn

2017
11. March 2017 - Rock im Wildpark, Bad Mergentheim
06. May 2017 - A Chance for Metal Festival, Andernach

To help skip the waiting time until the new single and album will be released here is the first full song that the band has put out earlier this year.

10/14/2016

CD Review: Evig Natt - Evig Natt (2016)

A band combining worlds that seem to be contrasts - there's heavyness in their sound but they're not really heavy. Then there's much of darkness in the music but also a light that shines brightly. Try this band that is one of the hidden gems in my ears.

Introduction

The Norwegian metal band EVIG NATT features former members of Enslaved, Einherjer and Thundra. They released the 3rd album entitled "Evig Natt" on March 19th, recorded and produced by themselves. It's hard to define a genre for this band because they are maybe even something of a genre of their own.

To make it sort of explainable I would say the closest you can say is that Evig Natt are sort of a dark symphonic/orchestral rock/metal band. This review talks about their latest effort entitled "Evig Natt" that has been released in 2016.

The cover of the Evig Natt album. Coverart by Monica Frivoll Sund, Photo from Jørgen Freim.


Summary

From the land of the midnight sun (Norway) comes this fantastic release. Entitled "Evig Natt" this record comes with a special note. It's from a band that has a own idea of how music should sound on their minds. That's at least how I felt when I listented to this album. Otherwise I cannot explain how they've come to create their unique sound. The main point is that it is not as heavy as you would expect it of a typical band with metal trademarks and influences but also not soft enough to be accepted in the world of rock or mainstream.

But it's this sensible sound construct I love so much. The songs come around mostly in a slower format and sound dark and majestic. There are drums sometimes but they're not hitting it the hard way as you know it of the typical bands in the genre. The music evolves and changes but they always keep a dark shell around it. In the middle, in the center of it that's where you'll find the light. Something that shines so bright in the darkness. It's the voice of Kirsten Jørgensen which sometimes tends towards a syphonic and even orchestra like voice but it doesn't reach the highest points which prevents the voice from getting too dominant and striking the nerves so that you want to turn it off.

In contrast there's also a darker voice of Oskar Naley present giving some parts sort of a good/bad scene. Listen to it for yourselves - you need to hear it to realize what I like to express with my words.Please give it some time to fully sink in. You'll be rewarded. This music helps to distress from things a lot. It's as intense as I've seldomely heard of any other band before.

Full album stream


Purchase-Link

You can pick up this diamond from the bandcamp page of Evig Natt directly. There's a download available but the band has also put out a edition on physical media for you to enjoy their music the good old way as a hardcopy. More configurations with T-Shirts are available from the same site, too.

A promo shot of the band, Photo-Credit: Jørgen Freim

Contact-Data

Make sure to keep a eye on Evig Natt using the well known plattforms such as Facebook, Twitter or have a look at their YouTube channel.

10/10/2016

Jupiter Hollow introduce upcoming social/Sci-Fi concept EP with new video

As for me it's impressive to see what people are able to do if they really want to. This thought just came across my mind when I heard about this ambient progressive rock/metal duo from Barrie, Ontario.

It's only these two guys called Grant MacKenzie (guitar, bass, synth) and Kenny Parry (vocals, drums, synth/keys) who've put together music that is breathtaking for me. It is for sure dominated by a progressive tonality but they keep things more straight forward and give the music room to breathe.

You never feel stressed with all the elements they bring in to the sound but instead it's more of a deeply emotional music which keeps sounding straight forward, harmonic and you can understand the song structures straight away. In addition to that the new video is calming with it's beautiful nature recordings. What's even better is the fact that this song is part of their upcoming EP 'Odyssey' which has some concept behind it that reminds me of a novel-like social/Sci-Fi story.

The EP that will be distributed by Milagro Records and is set for release on January 13, 2017 will feature 5 tracks to introduce their ambient experimental progressive songwriting plus will act as a prelude to their planned full length 'AHDOMN'.  

The following column contains spoiler! Please only read on if you like to know things in advance instead of discovering them for yourselves step by step.

The cover of the upcoming Jupiter Hollow EP "Odyssey", (c) by Jupiter Hollow, used with kind permission

"This EP is a concept record, it will tell the story about two characters fighting one another in order to save their civilizations, but they just can’t do it. They’re in control of their civilizations future, but then you actually find out that there's only one person, who’s actually fighting with themselves. They're unhappy with who they are when they look in the mirror and realize they can’t grow past their indifference, and that they actually aren't a good person and the people from their civilization will die." says the duo. "The cool thing about the EP's title track Odyssey is that the story then takes place after the civilization is destroyed, and the character leaves on a spaceship somewhere else looking for a new start. This track will be the introduction into our second record, which will be about them looking for a new start. It will be a more hopeful record. Spoiler Alert! Overall this EP is like the “trailer” to a movie. Odyssey will help listeners get acquainted with us and prepare them for our full album AHDOMN later in the year."

If you'd like to listen to some more stuff right now (like me) you are surely happy to read that some tracks of the EP have already been released. You can buy and listen to these songs on the band's homepage and keep the contact via YouTube, Facebook or Twitter.

10/06/2016

Live Review: Great Escapes - Rock am Pferdemarkt Lingen 16.09.2016

Having missed the band in January this year when they played at the Alternative Rotation at Alter Schlachthof, Lingen I was more than pleased to hear that they would appear at this years "Rock am Pferdemarkt" Open Air in Lingen.

Great Escapes just did what the people like most: performing straight forward punk rock without fiddeling too much around. The band had the task to kick off the festival at a early stage time of 19h in the early evening. Anyway that along with the given rather short stage time of 30 minutes the band made something special of the show.

Great Escapes Live At Pferdemarkt Lingen Open Air 16.09.2016, Picture taken by Joern

Instead of talking much they decided to play a good amount of songs of their first CD that is properly titled "To My Ruin I'll Go Gladly". I like this look at the world - it's a so typical punk attitude to point at problems with the finger of irony. But as I wrote the show was something more special as Great Escapes decided to live-premiere four new tracks that the band has been putting together since the album release. I was also surprised to hear that the band has songs with english but also tracks that have german lyrics with them. You don't hear this mixture often.

The special thing about this band is that they're around in this constellation since 2014 but have gone straight to the start with a first full length recording at the end of 2015. In addition to that they were able to play many shows already - it's amazing to see what bands are able to make with so few support.

Great Escapes Live At Pferdemarkt Lingen Open Air 16.09.2016, Picture taken by Joern

The trio is a good pick if you just want to have a good time and many people out there liked what they did. Many families showed up and it was cool to see they enjoyed it, too. Make sure to check out their Facebook page to keep track of what they do next. Here is a video clip of Great Escapes to give you the possibility to have a idea of how they go along with their classic punk music. If you would like to hear more click on to Spotify that's where you can listen to the full album.

10/03/2016

Vinyl Review: Heavy Baby Sea Slugs - The Minotaur / Trout Fishin' Man (2016)

A really raw piece of music, this experimental seven inch disc will make every listener happy who likes to endeavour something new and prefers to see music as a journey on his mind. It's like reading a book - everyone has a own imagination to the input that comes along.

Preface

It's not coming along often that a vinyl record fly's into my postbox but these days it happened and gave a good feeling to the writer of these lines. I mean how often do you touch one of these small round pieces of music in this times? The process alone of putting the vinyl on the table of the player, selecting the correct Round's per minute option and finally putting the tonearm carefully on the record is something special and sort of ritual.

The packaging

The double-sided cover itself is something unique - I've not seen something similar before. It reminds me of Iron Maidens old albums like Somewhere In Time or Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son where the full picture only comes to life when you add both the front and back cover. This one follows a similar concept and I like the way it's done. Good old handcrafted art. You rarely get to see this in 2016.

The cover of the Heavy Baby Sea Slugs 7' The Minotaur, (c) by Claire Taylor
The music

'The Minotaur' is centered around a doomy core and 'Trout Fishin Man' leans towards down-tuned noise rock. A really raw piece of music, but I love keeping it heavy and direct.

The Minotaur has a dark and heavy riff in it's center core. I like the way the groove spreads around this one. The haunting voices and effects give it a mighty atmosphere as if somehing bigger is sharing a message throughout the sound. A wall of sound that needs some closer listen to get fully through it.

Trout Fishin' Man: This song has a heavily distorted riff running through it. I needed some repeats to get to the point but you can hear that this has many layers put together all over. Surely a experimental track to be remembered. But no evolution has ever come from going the same ways over and over again. It always just happens where you try new paths. And that's what this track surely does.

Purchase-Link / Player

Do yourselfs a treat and purchase one of the limited edition seven inch vinyl records from the band's Bandcamp page directly. It comes along with one white and one black labeled side. Inside the cover you'll find the record as well as a little sheed with details about the release and the text of The Minotaur on the backside. The whole package is protected with a proper plastic foil bag. It all comes along handcrafted but with much love and dedication. Please support such efforts with your puchase. As for a first listen you can listen to the Heavy Baby Sea Slugs single right here.

Make sure to keep in touch with band during the Bandcamp page or see the Facebook presence of the record company of the band.

9/29/2016

Living Dead Girl sends us into "Autumn" time with new single

So it's this time of the year again that you can feel that things are about to change. The sun goes down earlier und the leaves are changing their color. You can feel that autmn quickly draws near.

So I thought it would be nice to post some decent music today that comes around with the fitting music for this part of the year. What we have here is some Dark electronica with a industrial pop production and the beautiful voice of Jessica English laying down some haunting moments on this track. She teamed up with Jonno Lloyd who contributed guitar, bass, synth, programming, and backing vocals. The result is the brand new single called "Autumn" of the duo Living Dead Girl.

The song comes with a deep meaning as Lloyd reveals in a statement: “Autumn explores the pain of unrequited love” Lloyd tells us, “and the changes we experience after finally leaving it behind.’ This was one of Jess' solo songs that never truly saw the light of day, the challenge was then how to make it a Living Dead Girl song but still maintain that feeling of vulnerability and hope. The result is probably our most optimistic song but one that still feels very natural for us.”

The dark electronica duo Living Dead Girl, (c) by Living Dead Girl, used with kind permission
If you like what you hear go to Bandcamp. Thats where you can hear the full release as well as purchase it for a few bucks.

Find out more about Living Dead Girl through a look on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

9/26/2016

Meshiaak release "Sin City" styled video

I'm often of the opinion that it's the small things that make life beautiful. We all don't have much in life so we need to make the best of things.

Meshiaak have come around with a brand new video for the song "At the edge of the world". The small thing that makes this one a special clip is the fact that the band let's it rain while they play the track and also use only few color elements in the black and white styled promo video. Both are things you may remember of the "Sin City" movie.

A cut-out of the album cover and the band logo, (c) by Meshiaak, used with kind permission

But for me it's far more that this. The song itself has a topic with a meaning behind it. Also it's more of a darker kind I like to hear that the music comes along in a cool style. It breathes a deep meaning- and thoughtful atmosphere. Two elements that may have become lost in this fast living world. Plus there is the vocal performance of Danny Camilleri who put's in variations and haunting parts which I love so much. The drum performance of Jon Dette is hard and you can feel the push of the beat as he plays the drums.

The reason behind this outstanding performance is easy to see. The vocalist breathes his own experiences through the lyrics as he makes clear in a statement about the lyrics: “It’s the kind of song that would speak to people on a lot of different levels, something that most people would be able to connect with fairly easily. It’s a song that is very close to me personally, especially when it came to the lyrics. It’s where I’ve found myself in the last three years and my moments of doubt, trials and frustrations concerning experiences I’ve had to go through over that time.”

The album "Alliance Of Thieves" is out now via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group. Make sure to connect to Meshiaak via Facebook.

9/21/2016

Demo Review: Souldrown - Evil Of War (recorded 2000 / released 2016)

Sometimes things happen that seem to have been lost in time... A demo release in the style of early Helloween and Stratovarius but evolved further to a much more complex and diverse style.

Introduction

Souldrown has its origins back in 1993. They began as heavy-power band, mainly influenced by bands like Accept, Helloween, Stratovarius etc. As the years went on, they radically changed the style towars a darker, more complex and progressive direction, mainly influenced by Tool, Dream Theater etc.

Unfortunately, the band never gave themselves the chance to have an official release.

Souldrown recorded some stuff in the late 90's-early 00's, for a demo release, from which some rough mixes have survived. This is what can be heard on the "Evil Of War" demo right here which finally sees the light of day in 2016...

The cover of Souldrown's "Evil Of War" demo, (c) by Souldrown, used with kind permission

Summary

This is a demo with two sides of the story. The first two tracks are clear in the structure, high vocals and dominant bass guitars. Tracks 3-5 are a bit different. Those are much more complex in the structure and sound and it needs some time to get to the point of them. I see some potential in this band since they have not only sticked to the sound of their favorites but dared to evolve it further. I think this kind of music needs some fresh kick and this band could provide it. It would be great to know what this band has on their minds after all these years.

This goes especially for the vocals. The vocalist keep them in a high region but also makes sure to keep them a bit more in the middle peak which makes them enjoyable and keeps the voice authentic. This prevents the tracks from being destroyed by a too loud noise that would make the melodies not identifiable anymore.

In detail Evil of War is clear and round for me. A grooving rhythm pushes throughout the full track duration and makes it a lot of fun to listen to it. The vocals are high and the refrain comes with various layers something not many bands work with. The bass guitar sets apart in the sound straight from the start. Last Hours is my favorite on the tape. A double bass cracker with fine keyboard parts packed in a roundly sounded package. It's typical melodic power metal. It feels more as a story than a song but it's something I like.

Track 3 Talk Hard offers more variations in the rhythm section while the overall speed is set to midtempo. Melody is set on top again but it comes around differently when you look at the style of it. More keyboards to be found in this one. The fastest track on the digital tape is called Dragons Lair. It's the hardest to get by anyway. A complex song structure makes it hard to get a grip on the sound. The vocals form a guiding light through the whole song.

See The Signs closes the release. This one is more complex than the previous track and comes with a high-tempo format. We hear the typical high notes in the vocals that seem to be a trademark of Souldrown. Some vocal effects can be heard, too. Those give the vocal performance some more variation and will hark back. They sound unusual so you'll want to re-listen after a first round.

Player / Purchase Link

The whole tape can be streamed for free here in the player. You can download a digital copy for only one euro on Bandcamp so please give the artist a sign that they should continue.

Contact Data

You can keep in touch with Souldrown via Bandcamp.